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Summary: Why do we judge and condemn the conduct of others and go so easy on ourselves? What does God have to say to us about this peculiar tendency?

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Sermon for CATM - May 7, 2006 - Right Back At Cha

"Don’t condemn others, and God won’t condemn you. 2God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them. You can see the speck in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the log in your own eye. How can you say, "My friend, let me take the speck out of your eye," when you don’t see the log in your own eye? You’re othing but show-offs! First, take the log out of your own eye. Then you can see how to take the speck out of your friend’s eye". Matthew 7:1-5

I heard a story about a five-year-old boy named Andrew. While visiting a neighbor with his parents, Andrew pulled out his kindergarten class picture and immediately began describing each classmate. “This is

Robert; he hits everyone. This is Stephen. He never listens to the teacher. This is Mark. He chases us and is very noisy." Pointing to his own picture,

Andrew commented, "And this is me. I’m just sitting here minding my own business."

Funny thing about humans, about the way we look at other people. I don’t know if it’s based in our history or our genetics as a species or something else. We’re rather quick to sum other people up. We see others doing wrong while we see ourselves as virtuous.

With precious little real information, and with an absurd confidence in our ‘character radar’ we make judgements about others. Judgments which are often

made too early to be reliable. They’re called, or course, pre-judgments or prejudices.

Sometimes it’s based on the way a person looks. I was speaking with a dear brother and sister earlier this week about racism, how it is all around us in the world, and all too often present in the church.

We kind of expect sin to be rampant in the world around us, but when Christians make judgments on people due to their race...when it matters to us what colour or ethnic background someone has, when a

couple of mixed race face judgment or just "the look’ they get from others that silently voices disapproval... this is particularly saddening, particularly galling, particularly terrible because racism dishonours God by rejecting what He has

made.

Steve Martin said, "Never judge a man unless you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. Then you’ll be a mile away and you’ll have his shoes."

Survey: How many in here this afternoonhave been judged based on rumors and lies?

How many in here this afternoon have been judged because of your past? How many in here this afternoon have been criticized for doing something different or

even being different?

Have you ever felt the sting of beingunfairly judged by another person when they did not even know you?

Everyone of us has a story...and part of our story includes being judged or condemned unfairly by others...something we really have very little control over.

The challenge with being on the receiving end of judgment or condemnation is to not let people’s unfair judgments shut us down.

The pathway to this is forgiveness...forgiving those who make such condemnations...because that is the only


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